This chapter draws on the concept of orders of worth to generate understanding into how sustainable, good markets might be enabled at the bottom of the pyramid (BoP). Through an ethnographic study of the efforts of a non-government organisation (NGO) to create spaces where values and value at the BoP are unearthed, articulated, contested and translated into market-making practices. Insights are generated into how interventions to make-markets in sites of extreme poverty become ‘worth the effort’. In keeping with the market studies literature, the authors explore how multiple, contested and reframed needs generate insights into the efforts (and practices) that shape orders of worth in economic life. Orders of worth are the everyday practice of social values that constitute economic value and are framed through the moral values of social worlds as these values are put to work to calculate economic value. This work provides a contribution to the market studies literature through our understanding of the relationship between social and economic values in the creation of orders of worth, by showing how this happens at the BoP. Second, the authors contribute to the BoP literature by showing how places and spaces can be created and used to enable markets to unfold and happen. Finally, the findings contribute to our understanding of the types of practices and market-making devices that interventions might adopt and adapt in order to prod potential actors into action. The chapter identifies three types of enabling practices that make markets possible: connecting, integrating and reclassifying.
Ronika Chakrabarti gratefully acknowledges the financial support of LUMS Pump Priming Grant and the LDLM for allowing her to access the intervention site, conduct ongoing ethnography on site and an open invitation to integrate extensively with project teams.
Katy Mason gratefully acknowledges financial support in the form of an AIM Research Fellowship in Management Practices (Grant No. RES-331-27-0049).
Chakrabarti, R. and Mason, K. (2018), "Making Markets ‘Worth the Effort’ at the Bottom of the Pyramid", Singh, R. (Ed.) Bottom of the Pyramid Marketing: Making, Shaping and Developing BoP Markets (Marketing in Emerging Markets), Emerald Publishing Limited, pp. 29-51. https://doi.org/10.1108/978-1-78714-555-920181003Download as .RIS
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